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Club profile: Karate Club

Hannah Gower

 Club profile: Karate Club

The Karate Club is a traditional shotokan style club that welcomes members of any grade or style, whether you are a newbie white belt or the master of a black belt. Senior grades help to take Saturday training and the middle grades assist, fostering a cohesive club spirit. Weekday training is under the instruction of our Senseis Mike Mackay, David Hall and Denis Stirrat, with club trainings three times a week covering material passed down from generations of karate-ka.

Usually there are three gradings a year, providing members an opportunity to be examined on their progress. Our first grading this session took place in November, with great achievement all round. All those who stood for their grading passed and three members double-graded due to excellent performance. At the next training session, there was a flourishing of orange, red, yellow, green and brown belts.

However if you have a more competitive nature, the club also enters competitions such as BUCS or SSS, in which members can compete in kumite or kata. The 2012 SSS championships saw success after success for our members. Stephanie Connell won Gold in Women’s Senior Kata and Boris Stoychev won Gold in Men’s Novice Kumite; Mark Henderson received Silver in Men’s Novice Kumite, whilst Julia Ohela took Bronze in Women’s Novice Kumite and Gary Weir also gained Bronze in Men’s Senior 75kg and Over. These competitions often complement the more traditional training covered throughout the year and the club are very much looking forward to participating in them in the future – and will hopefully be equally victorious.

Work hard, play hard may be a cliché, but it is certainly applicable to the Karate club. Alongside our training we also hold a range of socials, such as the much anticipated Cocktail and Christmas parties. On occasion, our socials also involve training: our new social secretary, Julia Ohela, has introduced a club run to diversify training and promote club unity.

We may be one of the smaller GUSA affiliated clubs, but we are a dedicated one and hope that the club will grow to allow the provision of even better competitive teams, socials and general training. We welcome you to train with us and hope to see you soon.